PM, India Inc discuss Current Account Deficit, slowing growth

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The Prime Minister's Council on Trade & Industry met on Monday to discuss issues concerning the Indian economy including the faltering growth, rising Current Account Deficit (CAD), falling rupee and the infrastructure bottlenecks.

The meeting, which was also attended by the Finance Minister P Chidambaram, saw eminent industry leaders including Mukesh Ambani, Rahul Bajaj, Narayana Murthy, Wipro's Azim Premji, Swati Piramal, HDFC Bank's Deepak Parekh, Jamshyd N. Godrej, ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar, Sunil Kant Munjal, S. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. Rana Kapoor, among others.

The meet, which came amidst rising CAD and the uncertainty over capital inflows, saw PM discussing the issue of raising duties on luxury consumer products, as well as floating a sovereign or a non-resident Indian (NRI) bond with the industry leaders.

Among the major issues that were discussed there included-- Raising duties on consumers and luxury goods; Innovative ways of reducing gold imports through bonds, etc; Reducing conditions on FDI and speed up FIPB; Have a sovereign bond and reciprocal swaplines; Improve Coal India operations through PPP; Removing bottlenecks of pharma sector and increasing R&D; Resolve the tax issues and remove tax uncertainty; among others.

"There was a detailed and lengthy discussion on the issues. While some expressed their concerns, some gave concrete suggestions on how to improve matters. The overall sentiment was on the need to bring back the mood, converting decisions to action and taking the country back to a growth path of 8 per cent or more," said the PMO in a statement.

Story first published: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 9:20 [IST]
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